Sunday 31 July 2016

Feasting @ Bakchich

You might have noticed from my Instagram that I've been to a couple of Lebanese restaurants recently. First, Aladdin's in Withington and most recently, Bakchich just off of Oxford Road. Both serve incredible food, but the vibe in Bakchich is as sleek as it is kitch; you definitely don't go to Aladdin's for the decor, but that's nothing against their culinary skills.

Today though, I'm talking you through Bakchich, as I was invited to come down and review the menu...

So, one Friday after work, James and I ambled down from the city centre to Chester Street. From being someone who practically lived on Oxford Road as a student, I hadn't ventured down 'that' way for absolutely ages - for some reason I'd got it into my head that it was 'miles' out from town, but it's not - a fifteen minute walk from Portland Street at most. So definitely do-able as a central place to grab something to eat.

The decor reminds me of Comptior Libanais; Middle Eastern mosaics, pop art style prints on the wall and colourful chairs. I loved it. We sat in our own booth and watched the place fill up with families, couples and friends out to enjoy food on a Friday night. It was nice to see a restaurant nestled in student town still busy even with the summer holidays in full swing.

We kicked off with a ginger, orange & carrot juice and James had the panache smoothie as a recommendation from our waiter. They were both lush; zingy and fresh and a perfect palette cleanser!

We ordered a selection of hot and cold mezze dishes as well as our mains - and oh my god, there was enough food for four of us!

We had:

  • Falafel
  • Babaganoush
  • Lebanese bread
  • Fatat Hummous 
  • Lebanese sausage
  • Halloumi Meshwi (this had pomegranate molasses on top - a really interesting sweet sauce to have on the cheese, it worked surprisingly well!)

The hummous was so nice - it had crispy pieces of Lebanese bread in a layer at the bottom which offered such a nice texture. I also loved how the falafel and halloumi came with salad - juicy tomatoes, pomegranate and cucumber, lemon and olive oil dressing. 

For the main affair (which is brought out at as and when it's ready; a concept I am fully on board with), I went for the Shish Taouk (chicken skewers cooked in Lebanese spices), which is served with fragrant rice and more of that delicious salad.

James went for the lahma meshawi (lamb skewers) with fries. The lamb was gorgeous, and I'm not going to lie, so were the fries!

Despite being stuffed, our waiter insisted on dessert.. so there was only one thing for it: BAKLAWA! One of the first times I had Baklava was from a middle eastern deli on Gloucester Rd in Bristol, and I fell in love with the sticky pastry, and gooey mix of crushed nuts and honey.

Our waiter also brought over coconut cheesecake (also insane: creamy and perfectly whipped, with a crunchy biscuit base) and mint tea, which was the perfect way to finish off the epic feast.

Everyone was so friendly, in particular the manager and our lovely waiter, so if you want to feel really looked after and valued as a customer, Bakchich is your place.

My only 'err' moment came when I found out they didn't serve alcohol, especially as I fancied a cheeky drink on a Friday. However, with the arrival of the juices it was surprisingly easy to forget about the drink, and focus on the food. So please don't let this put you off, it's an amazing place!

I'd definitely come back, it seems like the perfect place to swing by on a week day for a feast.

Bakchich kindly took care of the bill for this review but as ever, all thoughts and opinions are my own...


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